Communicate and Relate

I am beyond excited to introduce the FIRST class of “Communicate and Relate”, specifically designed for parents of young children (ages 10 months – 3 years) who either have a diagnosis of Autism, or who have suspected delays. The class is comprised of six 90 minute virtual meetings in a group of no more than 10 parents.

As a BONUS to those starting my ‘founders group’, I am offering a 50% discount! Typically this course will be $330, but for anyone signing up now, it will be $165 for the entire course! The course will be interactive (I promise, this not NOT going to be something you can watch on YouTube) and will empower you to take charge of your child’s development while reducing uncertainty and feelings of inadequacy. This class is meant to be interactive, inspiring, and informative, while supplying you with a roadmap that will help you every day with your child.

We will meet Mondays at 4:30pm July 10th – August 14th.

This course is about developing a positive interactive relationship with your very young child. The course is specifically designed for ‘babies’ who are behind on their milestones, but who likely have not been been evaluated.

Let me share a little bit about me. I have been an Autism specialist for over 7 years and a Speech Language Pathologist for almost 10 years. Even with all of this experience, it has been an eye-opening journey with my daughter Eva, who is 22 months old and currently getting evaluated for Autism. I noticed delays in her milestones and neurological processing differences starting at 9 months of age. I was very surprised to learn, from the perspective of the parent, that doctors are often unhelpful. My doctor either said, “She is probably fine. Let’s wait until the next appointment” or “let’s get you on the waitlist for an eval /therapy”. In the meantime, parents are often waiting for months without any direction on what they should be doing. 

I got started early. I began applying the principles I knew when she was only 9 months old, and I felt ‘ready’ for the task. My husband only now ‘agrees’ that she is likely Autistic or will have more delays than a typical late talker. I am happy that I had a roadmap to follow, and general principles and guidelines, because otherwise I would have felt lost. My twin sister shared that she would have had ‘no idea what to do’ if our children had been reversed.

I want to make something clear here, however. My knowledge and expertise was not ‘saving’ my child or ‘curing’ her. No parent has ‘missed their opportunity’ or ‘made things worse’ for their child. Let this sink in; you are the best possible parent for your child! If my sister had been Mom to little Eva, she would have been the best mom for her. But she may have been more uncertain, stressed, and had to deal with more bumps along the way.

The earlier you start, the earlier you will be able to create your interactive guiding relationship and start helping your child. Once you take this course, you won’t need anyone else to get started on making positive changes!

It is easier to feel calm and regulated about a child that you understand. This is important, because in order to help someone else you have to be calm and regulated. The first part of my class is learning all about your triggers and beliefs as the parent. This is where being a ‘guide’ starts; we have to focus on ourselves before we can focus on helping the child.

Let me share an example here about a session I just had. The Mom and Dad had different reactions to their child’s eating difficulties.

Let’s start with Mom; she became anxious when her child did not want to eat. Mealtimes often felt stressful for her, and she often found herself feeling ‘like a failure’. Due to this, she stopped introducing new foods and settled into a routine that worked (primarily using milk and snacks). She shared that, for some reason, her son ‘eats better’ for Dad.

Now let’s talk about Dad; he shared that he also hated eating breakfast as a kid and he didn’t like to sit for meals. When asked if his son’s eating made him feel worried, he shrugged and said, “I get it”.  Then he said, “you just have to catch him at the right time and with the right food. He will get there”.

Dad’s magical power here was only that he could relate to his son’s experience. He did not feel like a ‘bad father’ or a ‘failure’, and instead accepted this as a challenging part of growing up. He did not give up on providing his son with opportunities, and he intuitively knew when to push and when to be more relaxed.

What if your child is doing something that you can’t relate to, or their communication style is not syncing up with yours? More often than not, parents feel helpless and overwhelmed. With typically developing children, and those that hit their milestones, we feel calm and assured. “This is just the terrible twos”. “I did the same thing”. “He’s just like his father”. We have our family methods planned out, and if not, then we have many books and google articles to help get us caught up.

But if your child isn’t hitting their milestones, then life feels different.

Ok, here is a little story about what it looks like when your child is a little different. And what the consequence is.

Last week, little Eva went to see grandma. Eva was reading a book and grandma tried to read with her. Without looking up, Eva promptly took the book and sat in a different spot in the room. Grandma interpreted this as “it seems like she doesn’t want to play with me”, and she shrugged and walked away. I realized at the end of the visit, that apart from some hugs and handing over of toys, there had not been much of a connection at all. 

Children typically interact with adults about 40 hours a week. If your child is exclusive in their play for much of the day, ignores you on walks, and pretty much does their own thing, then they may be missing out on establishing mutual, trusting, and reciprocal relationships with others. 

This is why I want to start this course, especially for parents that are in the ‘in between’ zone. While most therapy doesn’t start until ages 2 or 3 (although you can always reach out to early intervention in your area!), I found it was beneficial to know how to develop the Positive Interactive Relationship with very young children.  At 10 months of age, most children will respond to their name, point or gesture to get your attention, maintain eye contact when you talk, and show curiosity in other adults and children.  I was told to ‘wait and see’ for months, but throughout all this time I was building our interactive routines, adapting my communication style, and calmly (most of the time- I am a mom too! And mom anxiety is real) monitoring her unique growth.

Finally, I have had parents tell me again and again how they wish they could connect to other families going through the same thing. 

I want to help parents interpret their child’s cues and to be in tune to what the child is thinking and experiencing. To play in a way that draws the child in and makes them want more of that wonderful interaction. To build a mutual understanding and place of trust.  

This will be a small group that will allow us to connect and grow together.  If you are interested, contact me to register and be a part of our first team!  I also offer a free 30 minute discovery call where I will learn more about you and your child and you can learn more about the class.  AND I like to provide you with preliminary information that can help you get start right away! 

In this 6 week course, you will come away: 

  • Prepared and ready to become your child’s guide, partner, and strongest relationship
  • Understanding social communication differences and neurodiversity 
  • With a deeper awareness of your child’s unique strengths and challenges so that you can better anticipate their needs
  • Ready to implement strategies to help your child: interact more with you, learn language, communicate, and respond more to your input
  • Connected to other parents going through the same thing as you and enter into an open-minded community ready to brainstorm new ideas that are unique to your needs!

I want to make this course affordable for families, and I am appreciative to anyone who joins as a first-round parent!  (And provide reviews on the course that I will put on the website for future families to see).  I will also offer future discounts if now is not a good time for you, but this price of $165 will be the best price.  I can’t wait to meet all of you!